Vanity Fair

“It’s time to get rid of negative stereotypes. Addiction is a brain disease, not a moral failing,” said  Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis, who added “Stigmatizing the disease, so that our loved ones feel too ashamed to get help, only increases the number of Pennsylvanians who will die unnecessarily.” WRONG! 

Tennis’s statement was reported on LevittownNow.com http://levittownnow.com/2016/11/29/surgeon-general-releases-first-report-addiction/ .

It’s no wonder that, after all the King’s Horses and All the Kings Men worked a long time on the substance abuse problem, the problem hasn’t only not been resolved; it’s getting worse.

The sixth step of the 12 steps program has it right: 

6 We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

Substance abuse is a moral failing, a character defect, and not a brain disease. It’s this take on substance abuse that has made the 12 step program so successful. The first step in the 12 steps program is to admit that the problem is your fault. You should not be stigmatized by this idea, but realize that you have flaws and that there is hope.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18

One reason I didn’t pursue an opportunity to be a drug rehab counselor at a methadone center years ago was that the counselor who tried to recruit me – I was a part time patient monitor at the clinic – showed me material that knocked the idea that drug abuse was a result of something bad inside us- that this would be a put down, hurt our whittle self esteem.

I worked at the methadone center a couple years after I graduated from high school. Decades later, at my high school reunion, I learned that classmate after classmate had died from drug overdose, many of whom had gone to the center. Evidently, the center didn’t have the right stuff.

Of course, problem people have to want to help themselves. But overall, a 12 steps program, particularly if it is Biblically based, has helped more people than has secular programs. 12 steps grew out of Alcoholics Anonymous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

There is something wrong in today’s society. How can suddenly a disease take over the minds and hearts of people the last several decades and turn us into a nation of peace loving freaks, relying on drugs and booze to find peace?  We haven’t had any major epidemics for some time. Modern medicine and good practices have kept people well. We’ve made great strides in the treatment of cancer. There’s a treatment that came on the market about two years ago that my friend with lung cancer started a few months ago. The first CAT scan showed the treatment was working wonderfully well.

But in the last several decades we have a new epidemic? A disease called “substance abuse.” As that character used to say on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, “very interesting, but stupid.” (with a German accent).

We are trying to find peace this Christmas through material things. Greed is driving rabid customers to stores, fighting over bargains, sometimes with even violence erupting! Incessant ads beseech us to shop at Vanity Fair. (Don’t pay any attention to that man who sometimes appears behind the curtain on the right of the screen)

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/vanity-fair

The Bible says that those who love money will never get enough of it – just like drugs – and will end up being a slave of their possessions.

“Whoever loves money never has money enough:

Whoever loves wealth is never

Satisfied with his income.

This too is meaningless.” -Ecclesiastes 5:10

Jesus is the reason for the season. He will make us whole, he will make us right. We become dysfunctional when we distance ourselves from God. Jesus was born in Bethlehem to save humankind from sin and bring people home to heaven.

He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings.  –Psalm 40:2

Originally, there were just six steps in the 12 steps program. Below are the 12 Steps, a program matched with Biblical principles:

http://www.celebraterecovery.com/index.php/about-us/twelve-steps

Tell It Like It Is

Even before Halloween, we started getting accosted by ads that used a sacred holiday to peddle wares. Since then, there’s been a crescendo of cacophonous claptrap of the bastardization of Christmas. It’s phony. It’s no wonder it’s said that there is an epidemic of depression this time of year. The worship of things leaves people empty.

Likewise, institutions, such as a particular non-profit, the Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) in Bucks County, PA, leaves the people they are supposed to serve running on empty.  Advocate defined: “A person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy: ” ‘he was an untiring advocate of economic reform.’ synonyms: champion · upholder · supporter · backer · promoter

-Oxford Dictionaries

Tyrannosaurus Rex”, a homeless man who has for about two years terrorized community meals for the homeless and those in need after arriving drunk, is sitting in the Bucks County prison.

An organization that is supposed to help the homeless improve themselves wears a Halloween mask all year long.

AHTN knew about T-Rex’s problem for about two years. To my knowledge, the non-profit didn’t try to get him help, which not only hurts him, but people around him. There’s been about a half dozen episodes of this individual coming to meals drunk and disorderly, attacking people and disrupting the meal for everyone. The last episode resulted in the reptile with a record slamming another guest to the ground, causing a cut to the back of his head.

Instead of trying to resolve the problem and promoting civility, AHTN has been giving T-Rex and other homeless people who cause problems a pass.

On one occasion, a formerly homeless couple were caught having sex at the AHTN bus stop at the Levittown public library. Consequently, the bus stop was destroyed and the homeless would have to go far out in the parking lot at the government complex, without shelter, to catch the bus. The bus stop buddies couple is now in county assisted housing, and I believe on disability. Someone found two jobs for the guy, who quit both, after which he continued to get handouts. The unofficial, de facto reason for their disability: Lazy and irresponsible.

The same “advocate” from AHTN who got the couple off the hook also got T-Rex off the hook at the community meal at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA. T-Rex showed up drunk and started cursing at another guest who was sitting a few chairs away from him, at the end of the table. The victim was talking to other guests about a court case he sat in on about evicting the homeless from a camp. He was there for another matter.

T-Rex insulted the victim, questioning why he has nothing better to do than to listen to court cases.  When he threatened to “jump over the table” and beat me up because he didn’t like the way I was looking at him, he referred to the victim as “that faggot” I brought with me. T-Rex also cursed at him. At one point he lunged at the other guest, threatening violence. T-Rex had to be physically restrained. As one of the hosts restrained him, T-Rex yelled “who do you think you are?” He challenged the host for restraining him.

Christine Jandovitz, part of AHTN’s Homeless Outreach Team and T-Rex went to the opposite side of the large room.

The police came. An officer told the victim, who didn’t even argue with T-Rex, that the host said he has to leave immediately. The victim also got banned from the bus, while T-Rex didn’t. I believe that the advocate fabricated a story to convince the host that the person T-Rex attacked was the source of the problem.

When the victim showed up at the next meal at Redeemer Lutheran Church, the host told him he was not allowed there. After he pressed for an explanation, the host said that he was banned for saying bad things about the homeless.

Some time ago, T-Rex harassed and threatened me. While I was waiting for the AHTN bus, reading a book on homelessness, he asked, in a drunken stupor, why I am reading about the homeless. On the bus, as I was talking to a guy behind me, he kept telling me to shut up. After T-Rex staggered into the Mosque for the meal, he started making veiled threats. When I asked him for clarity, he said “you’re smart, you can figure it out,” and called me “Kevorkian”.  I told him I’d be glad to assist his suicide and added I’d be serving a dual purpose: his suicide and pest control. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kevorkian

T-Rex asked me to step outside. As I walked to the restroom, he followed me. I spun around and went into a defensive position. A host got between us and we separated. Unlike the hosts at Redeemer Lutheran Church, where the victim did a rope-a-dope, the host here thanked me “for being calm.”

This host banned T-Rex from coming to the meals. If you come to that meal drunk, you are never allowed back. This is the way it should be.

At a later meal at another church, T-Rex came up from behind me and loudly cursed at me. He yelled  “keep my name off your F***ing blog”. On my blog, I called out T-Rex’s behavior at the Redeemer Lutheran Church. Some hosts and AHTN members were sitting at my table. One AHTN member said that T-Rex needed to be banned from the bus. He was banned for two weeks.

After this ban, T-Rex acted civilly. But it didn’t last. He was banned from the bus for another two weeks after another incident. The day the ban expired, he pushed another guest to the ground, injuring him. He escaped the police but, after a few weeks, was captured and caged in the Bucks County jail, where he remains.

T-Rex’s latest victim said he plans to ask the judge if he would refer T-Rex to rehab in lieu of a fine or imprisonment.

By giving people a pass for bad behavior, you are not helping them. You are keeping them down. If you don’t encourage responsibility from the homeless, they will never get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do (to adapt a line from Eric Burdon and the Animals). Their dependency guarantees business for AHTN and other charlatans.

People have complained about holding a homeless guy accountable for his behavior, but some of us like to, as was the saying in the 60’s, tell it like it is!

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:32

One Way or Another

One way or another I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha…

-Lyrics from Blondie’s One Way or Another

Well, the authorities found Tyrannosaurus Rex, the homeless drunk who had been on the run for weeks after having knocked another guest to the ground in an unprovoked attack at a community meal for the homeless and those in need. He now is contained in the jail in Bucks County, PA.

For some strange reason, not everyone is happy about the capture of T-Rex. They evidently don’t want to close down Jurassic Park, but still  ask, in the words of Rodney King, “why can’t we all just get along?”

http://www.filmsite.org/series-jurassicpark.html

When one of the victims of T-Rex’s attacks came to a community meal after T-Rex was rounded up, he was greeted with dirty looks.

Despite T-Rex running rampant, lunging at other guests at community meals, disturbing their dinner and risking harm, which actually happened, some people still think that dinosaurs and people can peacefully coexist.

Who will tame the savage beast? 

I’m a great believer that people, no matter have far they’ve fallen, can be redeemed. After my behavior was on a downward spiral, having fallen into a black hole, I finally hit the ground and turned around. God rescued me and pulled me out of the pit of despair, and has been directing my paths. I sometimes stray and sometimes forget who I am and have to be reminded and have God set me straight.

A counselor at an inpatient treatment center, where I visited a friend with an alcohol abuse problem, told the guests visiting their loved ones to establish rules, set boundaries, but to never condemn them.

We all have a beast inside us. Christians are sinners saved by grace – that is that we are forgiven by God and made right through Jesus’ death on the cross. The concept of The Noble Savage, where the restraints of civilization are removed, creates chaos, which we’ve witnessed in barbaric protests from savages who don’t like the results of the recent election. People are not inherently good.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_savage

There is something inside us that tells us to not just do what we feel like doing, that something is wrong. This comes from God.

T Rex and his sidekick, as word in the homeless community has it, harassed a disabled person, who was defenseless. Sometime after that, someone took the poles out of the sidekick’s, who is still at large, tent, flattened it and took the poles.

People in the homeless community, who don’t like snitches, are starting to see T-Rex and his sidekick for the monsters they are. They are having second thoughts about keeping Jurassic Park open.

An aid for The Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) who didn’t really know T-Rex, and AHTN  are finally starting to see T-Rex for what he is.

People can change, if they are willing to. Maybe with his extended time out, T-Rex will have a chance to think about what he’s been doing. The victim wants to see T-Rex straighten out – to get help. Help is out there, but you have to want to help yourself. The first step is to admit you have a problem and that you need help.

Recognizing your problem takes longer for some people than others. A guy with a drug problem who used to go to the community meals, as a relative told me, finally started to get his act together. Awhile back, one of the hosts ministered to the man, who was out of sorts. During the meal, he occasionally stuttered that he needs to get treatment. He got it. The rehab is going well. He has a job.

When I was visiting the friend at a treatment center in Bucks County, I ran into this guy. He said that he understood the seriousness of his problem then and followed through on committing himself to getting straight.

This is an example of people that can be worked with. The only thing that can done for incorrigible people such as T-Rex, who is repeatedly drunk and disorderly, is to have them arrested. Maybe someday T-Rex and others with chronic social problems will come around.

A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

-Psalm 121:1

Thou Shalt Not Snitch

“Thou shalt not snitch” seems to be a commandment in the homeless community in Bucks County, PA.  The 11th commandment, which I learned as a patient monitor at a methadone clinic, is “thou shalt not hassle.” So “thou shalt not snitch” would be the 12th commandment.

I certainly can understand someone not ratting out someone’s homeless campsite, a place someone set up because there was nowhere else to go. But not for criminal activity.

Someone who frequents the community meals for the homeless and those in need was falsely accused by a formerly homeless woman for ratting out homeless camps. Truth is, the raids on homeless camps in many cases were caused by some problem individuals at the camps.

A drunk and disorderly homeless man, known as Tyrannosaurus Rex attacked the falsely accused man at a community meal. He attacked him and others on more than one occasion. The last time, another guest at the meal called the police. A homeless person told her not to call. So nobody is supposed to do anything about this egregious, violent behavior? This is like the ad where some thugs break into a bank and people lying on the ground ask the guard why he isn’t doing anything about the robbery. “I’m just a security monitor; I just report when there’s a robbery. There’s a robbery,” he explained.

Tyrannosaurus Rex is at large; there’s a warrant for his arrest. This reptilian with a record has been spotted at the veteran’s memorial in Levittown, yet those who know that he’s on the run will not report (snitch on) him.

Permissiveness fosters problems. Peace is not necessarily the absence of conflict. As Edmund Burke said, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And this is what’s happening in the homeless community.

When individuals act up, it affects those around them, especially in the homeless community. One of the hosts at one of the meals where T-Rex created a problem cancelled the meal for this month. It’s possible it may be cancelled permanently because of the actions of T-Rex and that some people don’t think he should be held accountable. No man is an island! And being homeless is not a valid excuse for such behavior.

This is not simply the way homeless people are supposed to act.

Barbaric behavior from individuals in the homeless community fosters hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless. If you were in a restaurant and someone creates a problem, a particular individual, and perhaps people at the same table, will be blamed. But when people from the outside hear about a ruckus at a homeless meal, they just judge the homeless, exacerbating stereotypes.

There have been other problems at the community meals. A character known as “Birdman” has a habit of going from table to table and grabbing stuff – bread, drinks, butter – that are for each particular table, while people are still eating. He preys on the table with a bag, and sometimes a large pitcher in hand. I was glad to hear that one of the hosts chastised Birdman recently when he started swooping down on the tables, as people were trying to enjoy their meal.

Recently, with Tyrannosaurus Rex and other miscreants either absent or conducting themselves properly, the community meals have been more enjoyable – a place where friends can get together and enjoy one another’s company, interacting, edifying each other. If people can’t behave themselves civilly at the community meals, they shouldn’t go there. It’s an insult to the host to come to a meal drunk and disorderly or behave poorly in other ways. One host has it right. Come to their meal once drunk, and you are not allowed back, ever! T-Rex went after me at that meal so he was permanently banned. This is the way it should be!

As the professor on Jurassic Park said, dinosaurs and people can’t peacefully live together.

The do not snitch mentality is also a problem in the druggie community. Instead of reporting drug users and getting them off the street and into the appropriate facility, some people aid and abet them, enable them by supplying them with drugs with the rationale that they are going through withdrawal. A former drug abuser just told me that it’s common for guys in the drug community to get drugs for gals who are craving it. He said they do it because they think they will like them, which is generally not the case. The drugs are what they like.

Druggies affect the whole community. Some of them are kicked out of local recovery houses and, like T-Rex, plunder the neighborhood and take beds away in the alleged emergency shelter in Levittown from people who are homeless for other reasons.

I told a guy in recovery that I like the Roman version of the Odyssey better than the Greek version. In the Roman version, the hero is in a cave with a woman, but must continue his journey. In the Greek version, the hero is in a field with a bunch of old guys. I’d rather be in a cave romancing a woman than in a field inhaling dope with a bunch of old farts. He said that a druggie would rather be doing the dope than be with a woman.

Latest News in Bucks County: Three overdoses and one death on account of drugs.  http://levittownnow.com/2016/11/18/one-death-three-non-fatal-overdoses-friday-in-bristol-twp/

Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.

-Ecclesiastes 10:1

Don’t Give Up!

“When you got an all-out prizefight, you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing. ‘N’ that’s how you know who won.” -Al Capone in the 1987 movie The Untouchables

We all have our fights, often with ourselves, our situations, our addictions…  The key is to not give up, no matter how impossible it may seem to overcome life’s obstacles.

At the end of the movie, after Capone was convicted for tax evasion, Elliott Ness approached Capone and mocked him  saying “you wait until the fight is over, one guy is left standing…”

Homelessness is something many people are fighting, in places such as Bucks County, PA.  People are homeless for different reasons, but no matter the reason, it’s a fight not to give into the temptation of giving up.

In my associations with the homeless in lower Bucks County, I’ve seen people overcome obstacles, including substance abuse as well as economic.

One of the obstacles is the nattering nabobs of negativism, who write off the homeless as without hope. Bucks County will not only not create additional shelter for the homeless, but will thwart private efforts to do so. All it offers is housing assistance, which generally takes one to two years to get. Getting aboard the mental health train, The Disoriented Express, is a ticket for more timely housing, possibly.

When I was looking for housing, one of the Bucks County Mental Health Hustlers tried to sell me a ticket on The Disoriented Express. In exchange for more immediate housing, he asked me to allow myself to be labeled as being so messed up mentally that I could no longer work. I didn’t participate in this fraud. For sure, I had problems – I had lost my job, my house, and started losing my mind – but I wasn’t going to write myself off this way.

Through the fight, I had people cheering me on. My mental state improved, noticeably to people who had known me when I was almost down for the count.  I’ve had sporadic work, and I’m now a home healthcare aid, taking care of and cheering on someone with lung cancer. Early on, I volunteered in a food pantry, and when short staffed, ran the pantry myself.

Two people I know evidently bought a disability ticket. Their unofficial problem: Lazy and irresponsible. One of them quit one job, where he showed up for training and didn’t come back, and later another. He doesn’t want to work. Just wants to play video games, etc., and get handouts. He and his girlfriend  live in the Land of the Lotus Eaters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus-eaters

There are others who just keep swinging, like Odysseus and his men whom Odysseus drug away from the Land of the Lotus Eaters and faced responsibility as they continued on their journey.

One of them is a guy I befriended several months ago. He overcame substance abuse and is now working regularly and taking care of family as well as business. The guy once told me that he doesn’t want to be made too comfortable in his homeless situation because he would become complacent and not want to improve himself. He gets along well with everybody and doesn’t buy into the gossip, lies largely started by a former homeless woman to use a guy who goes to the community meals as a scapegoat. Instead of, like others, making someone a scapegoat, he concentrates on getting his own life in order.

The false witness fostered contention at the homeless community meals. At one community meal, The Redeemer Lutheran Church in Penndel, PA, a drunken homeless man verbally assaulted another man and started to attack him physically. Some of the hosts had to physically restrain the maniac. The police came.

Instead of blaming the attacker for the outrage, which disrupted the meal for other people, the victim was blamed.  I believe that Christine, from the Advocates for The Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN) twisted what happened and somehow convinced the hosts that the attack was the fault of the victim, who did nothing but a rope-a-dope. Consequently, the victim had to leave immediately and was banned from the bus, while the raving maniac who attacked him was not. This incident, as well as other assaults from “Tyrannosaurus Rex” on this man is now in court. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus

At a later meal at another church, T-Rex went after me because I had called out his behavior at Redeemer Lutheran on my blog. In front of some AHTN members and hosts at the church, he cursed loudly at me. An AHTN member, who before didn’t listen to the victim or me about holding T-Rex accountable, sternly said that T-Rex needs to be banned from the bus. Later during that meal, he started yelling at me. Someone started escorting him away, but he got loose and started poking me, as someone from AHTN started pulling him away, the way Al Capone was pulled away after he went ballistic after being convicted. I put up my fists and told him that we have free speech in this country and to “go ahead, punk, make my day!” I was verbally restrained.

T-Rex was banned from the bus for two weeks. After this time out, he started acting civilly at the meals. But not for long. He was banned again from the bus, and the first day back, he attacked the same man, sending him to the ground, causing him a cut in the back of his head. Another guest called the police. Another guest told her not to.

Tyrannosaurus Rex, now on the run, has fomented trouble with other people at community meals. Awhile back, when I took the AHTN bus to a meal, he kept telling me to shut up when I was talking quietly with someone else on the bus. Once T-Rex staggered inside, he started making veiled threats. At one point, he followed me as I headed towards the restroom and threatened me. I spun around and put up my guard, waiting for him to throw the first punch. A host got between us and ushered T-Rex away from me.  The host thanked me for “being calm” This was not the attitude of the hosts at Redeemer Lutheran. T-Rex was banned from this meal permanently.

As the false witness spread like a cancer, it created a lynch mob mentality. On one occasion, one homeless man started making snide comments about the victim of lies and distortions. He sneered that it’s good he no longer rides the bus and that he should be banned from the community meals and added that someone should beat him up! Others at the table aped him.

For some time, the community meals have been drama free. This is because some people stood up for what is right. The drama reflects poorly on the whole homeless community, exacerbating hobophobia.

The main problem in creating more housing for the homeless is hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless.

There is hope for the homeless, as there is for the rest of us. Don’t give up, but keep punching until the fight is won.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  – Philippians 4: 12-13

A Change is Gonna Come

Although a private charity organized and got funds for the project, most of the funds to convert the Santa Rosa Motel to homeless housing came from federal and state housing money and from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is a noble project, but taxpayer funds eventually run dry.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/5221888-181/first-tenants-of-santa-rosa

In my research about the causes of homelessness, I found that some sources say it is the lack of public funding. This is not the root of the problem.

People are homeless for various reasons, such as substance abuse and other issues that take them out of the job market. Another problem is the economy.

The economy seemed to be the biggest contributor to homelessness when it became rampant in the late 20’s, when Herbert Hoover was president, and during President FDR’s New Raw Deal. Because of progressive policies, where we were about as close to socialism (which we were progressing to) as our country ever was, a lot of people were out of work. Those who did work, had trouble making ends meet with the government confiscating much of their paychecks and because the government interfered with the marketplace, making things more expensive.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/how-fdrs-new-deal-harmed-millions-poor-people

A free market solution to energy is the sine qua non to a robust economy. Plentiful, low cost energy reduces energy costs and takes less money out of people’s pockets. The Marcellus gas pipeline, for example, will accomplish this.  http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/proposed-marcellus-gas-pipeline-would-run-through-lancaster/article_5ea6ca90-9b47-11e3-b0b1-0017a43b2370.html

There are a lot of homeless in Bucks County, PA.  Although the Bimbo of Bucks County, aka PA State Representative Tina Davis touted how much she has helped the homeless, and said she’ll continue to do so, she praised PA Governor Big Bad Wolf for signing an executive order to ban drilling on state lands. The bimbo admitted that, as former governor Tom Corbett argued, this drilling would help the economy and would raise $75 million to balance the budget. Yet, she cavalierly said that “protecting the environment” trumps this. http://www.wgal.com/article/gov-wolf-signs-executive-order-to-stop-drilling-under-state-lands-1/6235430

This kind of wonton behavior by out of touch elites fosters homelessness. By kowtowing to the pseudo environmentalist special interests, these progressives show callous disregard for the citizenry. When they campaign, Wolf and Davis may as well go door to door and hand out pink slips and eviction notices, as the Big Bad Wolf is in the business of blowing houses down.

As Ray Charles sang, “a change is gonna come.” Changes to this country are in the works. The former Witch of the West Wing won’t continue her war on coal and other viable energy sources in favor of the so-called alternate, unworkable energy initiatives. The Witch, the Bimbo and the Wolf are all sh**birds of a feather. Like FDR’s New Raw Deal, they harm the average person.

Substance abuse and other personal problems also contribute to the homeless problem. For these problems there is also a free market solution.

Between 1920 and 1933, the government established prohibition, banning booze for everyone. Then, instead of forcing abstinence on everyone because ten percent of the population had a drinking problem, a voluntary, free market, Christian solution to help drunks overcome their problem was used. The Oxford Group, modeled after 1st century Christianity, was established in 1921. Later, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today there are programs on the market to help people overcome substance abuse and other human failings, such as Celebrate Recovery, which applies Biblical principles to the 12 Steps Program.

The economy, the environment, and our morals all work together. A healthy economy, driven by good stewardship of the environment, and a country’s good morals work together for good. Dysfunctional people, such as substance abusers, can’t be responsible on a job or run a business responsibly.  AA co-founder Bill Wilson ruined a promising career on Wall Street because of his chronic drunkenness. In the 50’s, when my grand uncle ran a wholesale toy company, there were ethics, honor. When you made a business deal, a man’s handshake was his bond. No need for lawyers and long, expensive litigation or even negotiations.

Finding shelter for Bucks County’s homeless is stifled by hobophobia, the irrational fear of the homeless. Because of some problem people, which you’ll find today in any population, even private efforts to create shelter for the homeless is stonewalled by the judgmental establishment. Like the progressives in the early part of the 20th century, Bucks County won’t facilitate shelter for the homeless. Even the so-called emergency shelter in Levittown has a waiting list, thanks to the revolving door of druggies from nearby recovery houses and drunks and druggies who are return customers to the flop house.

Now that we’re throwing the bums out of public office, which is a positive reflection of our culture, we can start winning the war on poverty, substance abuse and other dysfunctions, and find a solution for homelessness.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

-2nd Chronicles 7:14

Pierce The Veil

It takes an honest effort to establish a good name, but just as easily, it can go bad. At least with some people. There are some who just blindly put their trust in an organization, or even the government, based on its good origins or intentions.

Suppose someone gives you a stick of gum. You open it, and there’s nothing inside. Even worse, it could have rat poison. With some institutions, once you go past the surface of the brand, you find fraud.

When I worked as a shipping clerk at a plant in Morrisville, PA, in a conversation I mentioned that I think that coupons are a hassle, and that it gives the impression that one is getting something for nothing, and compared it to the progressive tax code. I said that tax deductions are just a matter of getting your own money back, and by fiat, the government is telling you what you can do with your own money. Someone overhearing our conversation sternly told me I was un-American.

Really? When I reminded this Bucks County lib that we have free speech in this country, she stammered that this is realized in the voting booth.

During the progressive era of the late 20s through the early 40s, word was out that people were patriotic only if they supported high taxes and an interventionist government. Sound familiar?

The Salvation Army originally ministered to the not so beautiful people – the druggies, drunks, prostitutes and other undesirables that society shunned – just as Jesus did with the woman at the well, for example.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Salvation_Army

Today at the community center in Levittown, PA, instead of going against the grain, at a price as the original army did, they conform to the world. The homeless are looked down on by the Levittown center.

The Countess of Carlisle, who is in charge of public relations at the center, butted into a conversation I was having about the homeless being hassled at the public library in Levittown in an attempt to constructively keep them out of the library. The countess said that some library visitors don’t like the homeless there and the librarian has a right to keep the homeless out. I disagreed. Consequently, the countess used her position to block an offer to write for the Salvation Army that an official from regional headquarters gave me.

The Salvation Army Levittown Corps puts up a good facade. They welcome the homeless into the community meals, but not a nanosecond before 6 p.m., when the meal officially starts, and they can’t wait to get rid of them. On one occasion, as we were finishing up our meal about 6:30 p.m., one of the hosts started cleaning up and hustled us out. He said [sic] “you have to finish up; we have to clean up.”

Queen Latifah, the grand marshal of the community meals, not only tries to be cool (unsuccessfully), but talks down to the homeless, as if they are criminals or children, telling them not to run around the building, etc.

At a Thanksgiving dinner, the queen, in her usual hip fashion, asked who has a problem with her. She also would not let the DJ eat. I suspect she did so because he, a baby boomer, played music from the late 50s, early 60s and some later, which was not the kind of music she wanted – wild, modern, cacophonous, exclusively black.  The problem, as Mic Jagger of The Rolling Stones sang “It’s not easy facin’ up when your whole world is black.” A homeless advocate gently confronted the queen about not feeding the DJ. The queen went ballistic. The advocate then asked me the queen’s full name and position so that she can make a complaint with the corps captain.

A visiting Salvation Army officer, who outranked the community center boss, Captain Casper Milquetoast, ordered the queen to feed the DJ. This is something the center’s captain should have done, but being Casper Milquetoast, wimped out, as usual with his dealings with the queen and other dysfunctional phonies at the center.

On another occasion a man who had been wandering a few days after becoming homeless, flushed and disoriented, wandered into the Levittown Salvation Army. After we got him some food and drink, he sat waiting in the lobby for me to take him to the library, where he could get a bus to the community meal and have an advocate help him. It was very hot and humid that day. As he sat in the lobby, a staffer snapped that he can’t just hang around the lobby. After I explained that he was waiting for me to give him a ride, the staffer reluctantly agreed to allow whom the corps considered a persona non grata to wait in the lobby.

I was pleased that most Americans were able to Pierce the Veil this election, seeing the (wo)man behind the curtain and taking a sober look at the false promises the wizard made. People are fallible; you have to go beyond the surface and find the truth for yourself, guided by Biblical principles.

The Red Kettle drive, where the Salvation Army sends people to various businesses to collect donations in a red kettle, is going to start soon for this season. The Levittown community center employs many homeless people.  Although it’s good that homeless people are getting work, I would think twice about donating money to an institution, as evidenced by the Levittown Salvation Army Community Center, that claims to help the homeless but in reality distains them. Use the same discretion with your discretionary income that you did with the recent election.

Think For Yourself

Each year, in Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery, heads of household draw slips to see who will be stoned, and I’m not talking about pot, by the town. The argument for doing this is simply that this has always been done. No rhyme or reason.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery

It’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton won in Bucks County and that the Bimbo of Bucks County, aka State Representative Tina Davis, kept her seat, given The Lottery nature of the culture in Bucks County, PA.  http://levittownnow.com/2016/11/09/clinton-wins-majority-levittown-area-vote/

A remake of the TV/film adaptation of The Lottery could readily be done in Bucks County. All the populace here need to do is act naturally, to quote Buck Owens.

Rather than try to understand the homeless in Bucks County, people here throw that first stone. In the public library and at the Veteran’s Memorial in Levittown, for example, the homeless are considered miscreants, and, like cockroaches, are shooed away.

Some of the homeless, however, create problems, such as drunkenness and drug use.

Because of the inordinate number of recovery houses in lower Bucks County, some 100 of them, druggies have become part of the homeless population. As a result, a security guard and cameras were put in the public library in Levittown. Being liberal, all homeless are treated like the ones who steal, shoot up, and con people. The people who voted for Clinton and Davis believe one size fits all.

Another judgment against the homeless as a group is that they all have mental problems. So the Bucks County mental health hustlers hunt down the homeless. Unlike the folks in The Lottery, the hustlers don’t have to draw straws. For them, any homeless person is fair game.

The beat goes on… Drugs, especially heroin, has plagued lower Bucks County for years. The people here keep getting sucked into drugs just as they vote for politicians like Tina Davis year after year. At Stand Down, an annual event for needy veterans, the Bimbo of Bucks County spoke. She touted how much she cares about the homeless, said she had done a lot for them, although she gave no examples, and said she would continue to help the homeless. Mere words with no action, the quintessential liberal.

Another movie that could be filmed in Bucks County: The Walking Brain Dead. Zombies could wander the highways and byways saying things like “hope and change” and “I’m with Hillary.”

In Bucks County, there is more vacant property than homeless people, yet the two were never put together. Talk is cheap.

Just as the folks in The Lottery were used as scapegoats, the homeless are a means of funding the mental health industry in Bucks County.

Psychotropic medications is the Raison d’ e^tre for the Penndel Mental Health Center, a favorite place where the Bucks County mental health hustlers book the homeless.

By using psychotropic medications, the shrinks think they can deal with what they believe is a patient’s chemical imbalance by giving them an elixir to balance them.  The effectiveness of these drugs are unproven scientific theory. The concept of chemical imbalance is also unproven.

There is some hope now that the American people have chosen a President who will not usher, coerce us into her Brave New World. Enough people have carried the day. These are people who think for themselves and are not taken in by the former Wicked Witch of the West Wing’s welcome grin.

Speaking of thinking for yourself, read this blog from pastor and Christian counselor Jay Adams’ website that challenges conventional thinking:  http://www.nouthetic.org/blog/?p=5751

Chains

“Chains, my baby’s got me locked up in chains,
And they ain’t the kind that you can see.
Whoa, it’s chains of love got a hold on me. Yeah!”

-Lyrics from an old Beatles song

Chains often have a negative connotation. But some chains can seem good, as the Beatles sang in their romantic song.

In times when there is deep, heavy snow, chains wrapped around tires help you get where you are going in the winter.

Those chains of love that the Beatles are singing about is a romantic, syrupy love. Romantic love, those fleeting, effervescent feelings are often seasonal. As a recovering Romantic, I can see the flaw in this kind of thinking. William Wordsworth, a founder of the Romantic movement said of poetry, which is a reflection of his worldview:

Image result for wordsworth overflow of powerful feelings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wordsworth

A few years ago, I quickly developed romantic feelings for a homeless woman I befriended. There was adventure and daring in the search for a suitable place for a campsite, as she moved around like a nomad. It was a magical moment when I left my house and walked to her hideaway in the woods. My heart with pleasure filled when I’d meet the lean, tall women with long flowing Auburn hair, who often greeted me with a big smile.  I brought her  clothes and food. We’d discuss books and art and engage in lofty conversation.

Emotions, romantic feelings, can’t stand on their own. The homeless woman turned to the dark side, with episodes of drunkenness, cursing, mean-spiritedness, and stealing. These episodes became a full length horror movie.

The woman had trouble forming committed relationships, even with her husband, whom she said she left, not because of quarrels or abuse, but that there was nothing there. The fine home and social status couldn’t hold her, and now ain’t got no home, A-no place to roam. Ooo-ooo ooo-ooo ooo-ooo ooo-ooo ooo…

People become homeless for different reasons. This was just one.

People who live in houses can also live lives of quiet desperation.

A woman who lived in a house and I used to enjoy listening to the classic romantic songs together, including the Beatles’ song with the lyrics:

“Anytime at all

All you have to do is call

And I’ll be there”

Before long, these words, which my lady  friend said applied to me, became mere words.

Actions speak louder than words. Lying beneath the surface of her lofty thoughts lurked a deep sea of anger and resentment, preoccupation with self and self gratification, and intolerance, which, like a volcano, erupted in verbal assaults and even a threat of physical violence.

There was a couple I lived with who took the lines from the Beatles’ song literally, thinking anytime they called I’d be there. The problem was they didn’t distinguish their wants, which was excessive, from their needs. Their wish became my command, until I put my foot down. At least with Aladdin, there were only three wishes!

After getting kicked out by the homeowner, one of them tried to make up with me. Not by apologizing, saying they were wrong, but by trying to con me and acting as everything was kosher.

In the anecdotes, the chains were not of love but of bondage.

I’ve learned from these experiences, and have been engaging in relationships that are more fruitful.  A homeless woman whom I originally met when I first started hanging out with the homeless a few years ago, whom I ran into intermittently wanted to have a relationship with me and I was attracted to her. I decided not to. As I told her cousin, like Odysseus and his men, who were enamored by the Sirens, if I kept company with her I’d figuratively be dashed to bits, as the guys on the ship would have been after they crashed into the shores if they checked out the Sirens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren_(mythology)

For some time, I’ve been taking care of a woman with lung cancer. Our relationship is based on mutual respect, trying to work things out, and not on, as she says, fizzle, which is no basis to bond people together. I’ve been learning, trying to take to heart and practice, the Biblical command to put other’s (legitimate) needs above my own. I’ve learned to sacrifice, as Jesus did. As a sinner saved by grace, It’s a struggle, but with God’s help I try to do this.

The Bible says that we were once slaves to sin, but now we are slaves of righteousness. Jesus broke the chains that bound us but are now chains of love, God’s love.

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey — whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were committed. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to every-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness and holiness.”     -Romans 6: 16-19

Equip for Every Good Work

How to best counsel someone with a problem, such as drunkenness is being wrestled with in the marketplace of ideas.  Addressing the question of whether Christians should attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or treatment centers, Wayne Jackson challenges the idea of what he calls  a “hybrid religio/secular organism” such as AA. He’s concerned that, although the goal of the programs may be noble, they dilute the Word of God and don’t fully help people.

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/385-what-about-alcoholics-anonymous

Early on, AA had a schism.

In 1921, a Lutheran minister founded A First Century Christian Fellowship, which was later called the Oxford Group.

The minister summed up the Oxford Group’s philosophy:

  • All people are sinners
  • All sinners can be changed
  • Confession is a prerequisite to change
  • The change can access God directly
  • Miracles are again possible
  • The change must change others

AA co-founder Bill Wilson joined The Oxford Group and learned their teachings but later broke away. These teachings influenced the structure of AA and helped form the foundation of the 12-step program.

The schism: AA subscribes to the idea “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” The Oxford Group: The Biblical view that the King of King and Lord of Lords can break the chains and set you free of any bondage holding you captive. Expedia reports the differing views: “In AA, the bondage of an addictive disease cannot be cured, while the Oxford Group stressed the possibility of complete victory over sin.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

Fidelity to scriptures isn’t a concern that started in the 20th century with counseling people. During the early years of the church, the apostle Paul and company toured the churches to make sure they were in line with God’s Word. In Sunday school class, when I saw a diagram of the route the apostles took, noticing the guys were traveling away from Crete, I remarked that they must have been running from the Cyclops. I was mistaken. The Cyclops hung out in Sicily. He liked Sicilian pizza. That’s one thing we have in common.

In the 20th century, churches in America, liberal churches, lost fidelity to scriptures. To them, the Word of God didn’t mean the Word of God, but was subject to human ideas that contradicted God. My mother used to call these churches “social clubs.”

While the traditional churches in America were preoccupied with fighting liberalism in the church, they let secular modern psychology infiltrate their ranks. For people who came to the church with problems, churches took on a policy of defer and refer to the modern mental health menagerie.

Don’t let me tell you where to go (some people have told me where to go) to church for counseling and for fellowship with true believers and communion with God. Study the Bible and learn for yourself and find a church that most closely matches scripture. This is a trend that Martin Luther started with the Reformation.

It’s important not to mix worldly beliefs that contradict scripture in counseling and in other matters. Sure, they may have in common the goal to help people. But some things just don’t mix. I wouldn’t hang out with the Cyclops just because with both like Sicilian pizza.

There are counseling programs out there that are in sync with scripture. One national one is Celebrate Recovery. It uses the 12-step program and matches each step with scripture. It seems to follow the philosophy of the Oxford Group. http://www.celebraterecovery.com/index.php/about-us/twelve-steps

The closest Celebrate Recovery program from lower Bucks County, PA is in Ewing, NJ. Visit the link above to find Celebrate Recovery locations in your area as well as to learn more about the program.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

-2nd Timothy 3: 16-17